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Distance learning photography courses

dev 17 40
12 Oct 2005 11:56AM
Hello everyone,

I don't know if this is the right forum for this or if this has already been asked, so apologies beforehand on both counts.

I need some advice about home learning courses in photography. I've had a look at the Open University website but couldn't find anything on there. I've also found a few other sites that promise to teach you "professional level photography in only 2 days" and i'm a little wary of stuff like that.

Anyone know of any reputable sites that offer home learning courses that aren't complete rip-off merchants? I shoot in digital only so I'd really appreciate information on courses geared towards digital cameras.

Thanks everyone in advance and apologies for getting a bit rambly, my attention is a little distracted by my Dodgeball DVD!
Simon_Whitehouse 16 769 5 United Kingdom
12 Oct 2005 12:14PM
If your after City & Guilds Level 1 Photography then try
It costs around 220 and you can pay in 10 installments.

Hope this helps

peterh 17 608 United Kingdom
12 Oct 2005 1:10PM
Have a look at the Open College of the Arts who have been known to advertise on this site somewhere!
Graflex 18 488 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2005 12:48AM
Surely you require a course in Photography, you have stated "on courses geared towards digital cameras".which to me sounds as though you are more interested in the mechanics.
Doesn't matter what camera it is-it's the person behind the camera that takes the picture,I presume this is what you want to learn about?.
Best Wishes on your quest.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2005 1:34AM
In Dev's defence a lot of courses for photography insist you go through the wet dark room etc.

Personally I would be more interested in one that concentrated on lighting and taking the photo plus mastering the camera, rather than the printing or digital editing side of photography.
dev 17 40
13 Oct 2005 3:19AM

Sorry, I should have made it clear that I'm interested in courses on photography. The reason why I specified digital is that I mainly shoot in digital format but am not sure if that would have any bearing on the types of courses available. As Strawman pointed out, many courses assume you're using a film camera and would need to go through learning how to use a darkroom and so forth.

What I'd like to be able to do is improve on my photographic techniques, gain a better understanding of lighting and apertures and be able to know how to setup a shot that works as opposed to one that doesn't.

Thanks to all who've responded thus far, your input is much appreciated.
Marlin_owner 16 658 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2005 4:45AM
I would be interested in one that deals with 'how to use' the camera, lighting, flash usage and the technicalities of taking the pics.

All I see though are ones that (for a good proportion of the course) want to show you how to develop film or how to use Photoshop.
Graflex 18 488 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2005 5:10AM
Maybe the reason for this is because the darn tutors don't even know themselves,and the easy option is to plonk you you in the darkroom & just shut up!.
Frankly forget the camera and learn photography,but it seems you cannot win on these course...the only way you learn is out in the field.

That's why a lot of photography students look for part-time jobs with Pro photographers,it's HANDS ON time.

I had no choice 50+ years ago and just learn't the facts of life myself,in more ways than one.Box Brownie and worked my way up sort of thing.

I just pass on my knowledge to others about photography and really how simple it is.Today everybody gets choked up in jargon which is a load of old tommy rot.

Couldn't care less what camera is used..can you take a good picture,got an eye for detail & get the exposure correct.
Worked in editorial offices all my life to spot a good photographer when I see one.
Purely NOT interested in the camera.Too much talk,practice makes perfect.
debster 17 693 3 England
13 Oct 2005 7:11AM
The City and Guilds Level 1 is purely a basic guide to photography. I did this last year (albeit at a local college but I had checked it out distance learning too) - you get to work out all the settings on the camera, flash, composition etc., etc.

Only when you go on to Level 2 (which I'm doing this year), do you move into the darkroom.

The only reason I went to a local college as opposed to distance learning was the cost - almost double!

HTH - I have a syllabus if anyone wants a copy.

peter shilton 17 1.1k England
13 Oct 2005 7:20AM
Is the syllabus of interest?

I fancy giving it a go.

my email is

What level is it? I don't want to sit in a room with a load of people with the tutor telling us which way to hold it!!

I am quite a quick learner.
Graflex 18 488 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2005 8:21AM
These tutors should take you all out & practice,you need field work not sit in groups.That's no good,might as well stay at home and watch telly..perhaps learn just as much from there.

Miserably blighter I might sound-but it's true...why waste money sitting around you need visual ACTION!Stimulate the taste buds.
colder 17 36
13 Oct 2005 9:34AM
Is the City and Guilds Level 1 worth doing as i was looking for a course to do.
debster 17 693 3 England
13 Oct 2005 10:30AM
Hi, it's very basic stuff. This is a camera, this is the aperture, this is the shutter - this does this, this does that! And I'm going to be honest and say I pretty much knew most of it. However....what I found was that it pulled together all the little bits and pieces I knew and kind of glued it altogether - for me, it definitely helped.
I also think being at a local college was a big plus as each week we either went out or had to bring photos in for everyone to look at and comment on. I'll sort out the syllabus tonight and mail it to anyone interested tomorrow. Hayley, this includes you - I haven't forgotten!!

peterh 17 608 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2005 1:48PM
The OCA courses involve no darkroom work or knowledge at all. They a general path for either film or digital and a specifically digital course at levels one, two and three. This could gain you credits towards a degree. Have a look at their web site: to see what's on offer. Or ring them and have a chat. (sorry this sounds a bit like an ad. but is only meant as a suggestion!)
timwilson 16 181 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2005 2:29PM
I found really good. The critiques they give are really detailed and insightful. It really helped me improve at my own pace.


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